15.6.2018

Instruction time in compulsory education in Finland among the lowest in Europe

There are big difference both in the duration of compulsory education as well as the total number of instructions time. This information is available in the new Eurydice report Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education 2017/2018.

The duration of compulsory education varies between 8 to 12 years in Europe. In twelve countries compulsory education also encompasses at least a year of pre-primary education. In 15 countries compulsory education continues at upper secondary education.

Big differences in compulsory instruction time. Does it give an accurate picture of the length of the school days and school year for the pupils?

There are less hours of instruction in Finland than in Europe on average. At lower secondary level the European average number of hours is 857 per year, while only 808 in Finland.

Lähde: Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education 2017/2018

The difference between countries are remarkable at lower secondary level. The extremes are Denmark and Croatia. Danish pupils receive almost twice as many hours of instruction both during the whole of compulsory education and at lower secondary level than their Croatian peers.

Comparing compulsory instruction time does not give the whole picture of the instruction that pupils receive. Practices related to homework differ, so that in in one country the schooldays can be shorter and the amount of homework bigger. Also taking private lessons can be more systematic on some countries than in others, for example due to lacking trust in the public education provision. In Finland the school days are short. but the pupils are expected to do homework after school hours. Systematic private tuition is not common in Finland.

For more information:

There are big difference both in the duration of compulsory education as well as the total number of instructions time. This information is available in the new Eurydice report Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education 2017/2018.